THE GLORY OF THE FINAL PROMISE
So the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had instructed them to go. And they saw him and worshipped him; but some were not sure. Jesus came and spoke to them. “All power,” he said, “is given to me in heaven and upon earth. Go, therefore, and make all nations my disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to keep all the commandments I have given you. And, look you, I am with you throughout all days until the end of the world.”
Here we come to the end of the gospel story; here we listen to the last words of Jesus to his men; and in this last meeting Jesus did three things.
(i) He assured them of his power. Surely nothing was outside the power of him who had died and conquered death. Now they were the servants of a Master whose authority upon earth and in heaven was beyond all question.
(ii) He gave them a commission. He sent them out to make all the world his disciples. It may well be that the instruction to baptize is something which is a development of the actual words of Jesus. That may be argued about; the salient fact remains that the commission of Jesus is to win an men for himself.
(iii) He promised them a presence. It must have been a staggering thing for eleven humble Galilaeans to be sent forth to the conquest of the world. Even as they heard it, their hearts must have failed them. But, no sooner was the command given, than the promise followed. They were sent out–as we are–on the greatest task in history, but with them there was the greatest presence in the world.
“Though few and small and weak your bands,
Strong in your Captain’s strength,
Go to the conquest of all lands;
All must be his at length.”
- C. Allen, St. Matthew (ICC; G)
J. C. Fenton, The Gospel of St. Matthew (PC; E)
F. V. Filson, The Gospel According to St. Matthew (ACB; E)
A. H. McNeile, St Matthew (MmC; G)
A. Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Matthew (E)
T. H. Robinson, The Gospel of Matthew (MC; E)
R. V. G. Tasker, The Gospel According to St. Matthew (TC; E)
ACB: A. and C. Black New Testament Commentary
ICC: International Critical Commentary
MC : Moffatt Commentary
MmC: Macmillan Commentary
PC : Pelican New Testament Commentary
TC : Tyndale Commentary
E : English Text
G : Greek Text
Back to: Barclay’s Commentary